Isotope dating of rocks getprofileu
For most radioactive nuclides, the half-life depends solely on nuclear properties and is essentially a constant.
It is not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field.
The procedures used to isolate and analyze the parent and daughter nuclides must be precise and accurate.
This normally involves isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. The precision of a dating method depends in part on the half-life of the radioactive isotope involved.
As the mineral cools, the crystal structure begins to form and diffusion of isotopes is less easy.
At a certain temperature, the crystal structure has formed sufficiently to prevent diffusion of isotopes.
The temperature at which this happens is known as the closure temperature or blocking temperature and is specific to a particular material and isotopic system.
These temperatures are experimentally determined in the lab by artificially resetting sample minerals using a high-temperature furnace.
This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including alpha decay (emission of alpha particles) and beta decay (electron emission, positron emission, or electron capture).
Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.